Notes on Kite Aerial Photography: Photo Gallery

St. Simons Lighthouse
St. Simons Island, Georgia


sslh1.gif (33226 bytes)The St. Simons Lighthouse located at the southern end of the island  (27K jpg, Canon 24-mm, August 1997).

I insert this final page from the Georgia coast to include some images of the island's lighthouse.  As you might have gathered from previous posts I have a nascent collection of aerial lighthouse images.  Lighthouses make a natural KAP subject.  They are near the coast and favorable winds.  Often isolated, they offer a foreground challenge with plenty of working room.

Like many others the St. Simons lighthouse has an interesting history. The original light was built around 1810 at the former site of   Fort St. Simons. The land was available because Fort St. Simons had been destroyed by  retreating Spanish soldiers following the Battle of the Bloody Marsh in 1742.   The first tower was predominantly built of tabby -- a mixture of oyster shell, lime, sand, and water -- reaching 75 feet tall with a 10 foot high by 8 foot in diameter iron lantern that burned oil. It was fitted with a third order Fresnel lens in 1857.   Not long after this the island was occupied by Confederate troops during the American Civil War with the lighthouse site serving as a fort for an artillery unit from my home town of Macon, Georgia.  When the confederates deserted the island they destroyed the first lighthouse so the Federal troops could not use it as a navigational aid.

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A view from inland looking over the lighthouse toward the river and a view down the lighthouse tower (37K jpg left and 34K jpg right, Canon 24-mm, August 1997).

Fifteen years after the Civil War the federal government set about building a new lighthouse just west of the former tower's site. During the intervening years a cotton barn had served as a navigational reference.  The second tower is the one that exists today. It stands 104 feet tall and houses a publicly accessible 129 step spiral stair.  The lighthouse is locally known for the charm of its Victorian Lighthouse Keeper's Cottage, a finely proportioned structure by any measure.   The cottage was designed by noted Georgia architect and Irish native Charles Cluskey who unfortunately contracted malaria during its construction and died.


sslh8.gif (36587 bytes)sslh3.gif (39690 bytes)Views looking toward the east and south. The shots on this page were taken on two different days (31K jpg left and 30K jpg right, Canon 24-mm, August 1997).

I flew the Sutton 30 to take these shots and it performed very nicely.  I continue my fondness for this kite and appreciate its steady performance, particularly in stable sea breezes like the one during these sessions. The kite was so stable in the humid tangible air that it felt perfectly natural to walk the kite and its line around trees and obstacles. So stable was the wind that it also seemed quite reasonable to walk the camera near the lighthouse tower. Great fun.


sslh6.gif (35155 bytes)A close shot of the canopy with the Fresnel lens visible. My kiteline leads down to my flying position on the sidewalk (28K jpg, Canon 24-mm, August 1997).




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